The Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale Contents
Part 10: l.503-542
503: Now of my fifthe housbonde wol I telle.
504: God lete his soule nevere come in helle!
505: And yet was he to me the mooste shrewe;
506: That feele I on my ribbes al by rewe,
507: And evere shal unto myn endyng day.
508: But in oure bed he was so fressh and gay,
509: And therwithal so wel koude he me glose,
510: Whan that he wolde han my bele chose,
511: That thogh he hadde me bete on every bon,
512: He koude wynne agayn my love anon.
513: I trowe I loved hym best, for that he
514: Was of his love daungerous to me.
515: We wommen han if that I shal nat lye,
516: In this matere a queynte fantasye;
517: Wayte what thyng we may nat lightly have,
518: Therafter wol we crie al day and crave.
519: Forbede us thyng, and that desiren we;
520: Preesse on us faste, and thanne wol we fle.
521: With daunger oute we al oure chaffare;
522: Greet prees at market maketh deere ware,
523: And to greet cheep is holde at litel prys:
524: This knoweth every womman that is wys.
525: My fifthe housbonde, God his soule blesse!
526: Which that I took for love, and no richesse,
527: He som tyme was a clerk of oxenford,
528: And hadde left scole, and wente at hom to bord
529: With my gossib, dwellynge in oure toun;
530: God have hir soule! hir name was alisoun.
531: She knew myn herte, and eek my privetee,
532: Bet than oure parisshe preest, so moot I thee!
533: To hire biwreyed I my conseil al.
534: For hadde myn housbonde pissed on a wal,
535: Or doon a thyng that sholde han cost his lyf,
536: To hire, and to another worthy wyf,
537: And to my nece, which that I loved weel,
538: I wolde han toold his conseil every deel.
539: And so I dide ful often, God it woot,
540: That made his face often reed and hoot
541: For verray shame, and blamed hymself for he
542: Had toold to me so greet a pryvetee.
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